Sarah Maes


BSc in Bioscience Engineering, KU Leuven, Belgium, 2013
MSc in Bioscience Engineering (Major and minor in catalytic technology and bionanotechnology respectively), KU Leuven, Belgium, Graduation in June 2015


Sarah joined prof. Arafat’s research team at Masdar Institiute as a visiting student for three months, working on the research project for master thesis under the supervision of Dr. Muhammad Roil Bilad. This exchange opportunity was made possible through the collaboration between the Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis (KU Leuven, Belgium) and Membranes & Sustainable Desalination Research Group (Masdar Institute, UAE). During her stay in the UAE, Sarah’s work focuses on the tailoring of PVDF membrane properties to optimize the harvesting of specific marine microalgae via microfiltration. The aspects of phase inversion as well as their role in the performance of the membranes will be intensively studied. The difference in morphology and performance of membranes prepared via direct immersion (DI) and vapour induced phase separation (VIPS) is a key element is the research. She will continue her work in Leuven, promoted by prof. Ivo Vankelecom, by further modification of the membranes and testing the filtration on freshwater algae.